Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!  As you contemplate your blessings at this amazing time of year, I hope you are finding new reasons to be grateful.

24 years ago, this weekend, I was in a car accident that should have taken my life and the lives of my children, but God spared us for His purposes. It’s a big deal, and I have thanked Him often, but what about the little things?  Am I truly grateful for them?  What about the big trials? Do I ask God to take them away?  Or do I accept them as His training for the bigger things ahead?  Listen to this:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thess 5:18 (KJV)

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!  Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven … Luke 6:22-23 (ESV)

What do you think? Are you there, yet?

Maybe you are like me and think:  easier said than done!  I’ve been in some of those situations, and I just want out.  Giving thanks, rejoicing, and leaping for joy are the last things on my mind!  Listen again:

No amount of tribulation can separate us from Christ. If he leads us to Rephidim, it is because he sees that it is for our good and for his name’s glory. If we will look to him in trusting faith, he will, in his own time, turn the bitterness of Marah into sweetness. He can open the flinty rock, and cause cooling streams to flow forth. Then shall we not lift our voices in praise and thanksgiving for past mercies, and go forward with full assurance that he is an ever-present help in time of trouble? He has been with us in our past experiences, and his word to us is, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {ST September 17, 1896, par. 10}

The Lord permits conflicts, to prepare the soul for peace.  {RC 375.3}

All trials that are received as educators will produce joy.  {AG 184.4}

Wow!  Doesn’t that change the perspective?

God cares more about our eternal character than our temporary comfort!  Can we thank Him for that?  Perhaps if we would just ask Him to take our attitude toward difficulties, and our feelings about them and give us His in exchange, we would consider ourselves blessed and leap for joy, rejoicing, and giving thanks!

The fact that nothing can separate us from Jesus is cause for great rejoicing.  He will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5)! The fact that He can take the tears we shed at night and give us joy in the morning (Ps. 30:5), is great cause for thanksgiving!  The fact that His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:7), should spur us into such thanksgiving that it brings a smile to the face of God, and joy to His loving heart.

He pours so much loving effort into us!  Rejoice, and give thanks!

I’m praying for you!

By Erna McCann

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